Merc Sprinter Seat Upgrade &Rear Suspension

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Merc Sprinter Seat Upgrade &Rear Suspension

Post by Frank.Hatfull on Mon Jun 13, 2016 8:58 pm

Has  anybody replaced or improved their Merc Spinter seats?
Thanks
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Re: Merc Sprinter Seat Upgrade &Rear Suspension

Post by Pete Taylor on Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:54 pm

There is a company called McLaren Sports Homes who produce some rather fancy (garish even) conversions; they usually do Sprinters and Crafters. Might be worth asking them (looks expensive though!).

http://www.mclarensportshomes.co.uk/index.htm

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Re: Merc Sprinter Seat Upgrade &Rear Suspension

Post by big'nuf on Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:18 pm

Frank, did you ever get anything done with your Sprinter seat?...they are flipping aweful !!!
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Re: Merc Sprinter Seat Upgrade &Rear Suspension

Post by pstallwood on Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:12 pm

Interesting I thought they felt more comfortable than the ones on our present Fiat based van and that was one of the reasons for choosing a Bourton over a Broadway.

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Re: Merc Sprinter Seat Upgrade &Rear Suspension

Post by Peter Brown on Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:42 pm

5.5 years and 32000 mile on, the standard Merc seats are excellent. I damaged my back in 1977 and am very susceptible to sciatica from poor seats - no problems with the van though.

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Re: Merc Sprinter Seat Upgrade &Rear Suspension

Post by Liam on Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:51 pm

I concur with Peter#1 and pstallwood - we find them very comfortable - particularly with the various position adjustments available including the lumber support. 
Wouldn't change mine!
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Re: Merc Sprinter Seat Upgrade &Rear Suspension

Post by rapidair65 on Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:38 pm

The one thing that surprised us about the seats in our Bourton was the lack of outboard arm rests. I read somewhere that additional armrests are available and can be fitted reasonably easily. Has anyone modified the standard seats with extra armrests?
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Re: Merc Sprinter Seat Upgrade &Rear Suspension

Post by pstallwood on Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:50 pm

That's interesting, Rapid - hadn't noticed. Will wait and see whether we want extra ones - expect it will be yes.

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Re: Merc Sprinter Seat Upgrade &Rear Suspension

Post by PLOUGHLIN on Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:12 pm

On an american SPrinter forum, it was reported that the seat frame is already predilled/tapped for the other arm rest, just need the rest and fixing kit, or pinch the one off the passenger seat.

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Re: Merc Sprinter Seat Upgrade &Rear Suspension

Post by big'nuf on Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:16 pm

How interesting?....
This is my 6th motorhome, having had previous Fiat and Peugeot vans, I travelled thousands of miles in them without any complaint at all.
Then I bought this Stanton! 
Within just a few miles I found myself increasingly uncomfortable. I find it has lack of support on the sides and does not hold me in the seat very well as my motorhome wallows all over the place...
The seat has no tilt adjustment and I get the feeling Im sliding forward off the seat...Ive tried increasing that silly thing under your knees but that just makes it even more uncomfortable.
Also, all my weight seems to be supported by the back of my legs and not my bum.
As I am having the hideous Terracotta upholstery ripped out and re trimmed, I was hoping to fit Peugeot seats and have them trimmed at the same time - but this has proved to be quite a difficult task.
My upholsterer has said he could re sculpture the seat for me before he recovers it.
He also suggested blocking the seat up a bit at the front - extending the front bolts?

Interestingly though, he said one of the problems may be that the seat covers do not stretch to the correct shape of the seats as Auto sleeper has been lazy and just put covers over the original van seats, that have already been covered?....
I removed the A/S cover and the seat is actually a very little more comfortable - but still a long way off.
The upholsterer is going to strip ALL the covers from my seat, reshape my seat and then cover it properly....fingers crossed.

Also, the van is booked into Mercedes tomorrow for a technician to take it for a drive...hopefully he will agree that it wallows too much and suggest a sensible remedy?...this may help the comfort issue too?

That will just leave the question mark recently raised over the towing legalities?, The payload weight upgrade, replacing the silly Whale water filler, find a flyscreen for the door (that every basic van usually has)....Ive already replaced the submersible water pump that packed up on the first day of the first trip, and replaced the poor quality reversing camera, remapped the under powered engine and upgraded the stereo to accept an Ipod/Ipad (As CDs are so out of date)....whatever next?
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Re: Merc Sprinter Seat Upgrade &Rear Suspension

Post by Liam on Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:40 pm

Re your wallowing - whilst you are at your local MB dealer - it might be worth getting him to check the actual suspension springs that have been fitted and have him compare it with that which is on the Mercedes Build Standard - he can get the details from you vehicle vin no. 
There has been previous instances reported on this forum of a some MB chassis been supplied to AS and not having the correct springs at fitted - the Germans don't always get it right!
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Re: Merc Sprinter Seat Upgrade &Rear Suspension

Post by big'nuf on Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:06 pm

Thank you, that was something I was thinking about...I have actually spoken with a spring manufacturer and he told me it was a number of issues...could be a total overkill on the heavy duty springs fitted, also the fact that the van is never really loaded to the max, the fact that the van has only done 5000 miles and the springs are still in new condition and not worn at all....he suggested replacing them with some that has done high miles, or put a heavy load in the van...these are things I want to discuss with MB.
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Re: Merc Sprinter Seat Upgrade &Rear Suspension

Post by logburner on Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:23 pm

That seems weird....I've always associated wallowing with weak, well worn, and aged springs. Not new hardly used ones.  Something is wrong somewhere.  scratch head
If it was overkill on heavy duty springs, one would think the ride to be too hard, not soft and springy.    shrugg
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Re: Merc Sprinter Seat Upgrade &Rear Suspension

Post by Peter Brown on Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:32 am

rapidair65 wrote:The one thing that surprised us about the seats in our Bourton was the lack of outboard arm rests. I read somewhere that additional armrests are available and can be fitted reasonably easily. Has anyone modified the standard seats with extra armrests?


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Re: Merc Sprinter Seat Upgrade &Rear Suspension

Post by rapidair65 on Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:04 am

Thanks Peter. I did realise that the doors had built in armrests but when the seats are turned to face the lounge, there's nowhere to put your right arm (or left if you're the passenger). Most other motorhomes we considered had cab seats with two armrests. I can see why Mercedes did not fit them on the base vehicle, if you're a delivery driver you don't want a door side armrest as it could get in the way as you leave and enter the cab.
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Re: Merc Sprinter Seat Upgrade &Rear Suspension

Post by RML on Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:18 am

big'nuf wrote:How interesting?....
This is my 6th motorhome, having had previous Fiat and Peugeot vans, I travelled thousands of miles in them without any complaint at all.
Then I bought this Stanton! 
Within just a few miles I found myself increasingly uncomfortable. I find it has lack of support on the sides and does not hold me in the seat very well as my motorhome wallows all over the place...
The seat has no tilt adjustment and I get the feeling Im sliding forward off the seat...Ive tried increasing that silly thing under your knees but that just makes it even more uncomfortable.
Also, all my weight seems to be supported by the back of my legs and not my bum.
As I am having the hideous Terracotta upholstery ripped out and re trimmed, I was hoping to fit Peugeot seats and have them trimmed at the same time - but this has proved to be quite a difficult task.
My upholsterer has said he could re sculpture the seat for me before he recovers it.
He also suggested blocking the seat up a bit at the front - extending the front bolts?

Interestingly though, he said one of the problems may be that the seat covers do not stretch to the correct shape of the seats as Auto sleeper has been lazy and just put covers over the original van seats, that have already been covered?....
I removed the A/S cover and the seat is actually a very little more comfortable - but still a long way off.
The upholsterer is going to strip ALL the covers from my seat, reshape my seat and then cover it properly....fingers crossed.

Also, the van is booked into Mercedes tomorrow for a technician to take it for a drive...hopefully he will agree that it wallows too much and suggest a sensible remedy?...this may help the comfort issue too?

That will just leave the question mark recently raised over the towing legalities?, The payload weight upgrade, replacing the silly Whale water filler, find a flyscreen for the door (that every basic van usually has)....Ive already replaced the submersible water pump that packed up on the first day of the first trip, and replaced the poor quality reversing camera, remapped the under powered engine and upgraded the stereo to accept an Ipod/Ipad (As CDs are so out of date)....whatever next?
Begs the question, why did you buy and AS?
I left the brand several years ago and in 2 weeks we pick up our second German MH and I've had no problems, they're 3.5t with 500kg payload, 5.5t GTW, huge outside storage, perfect seating and internal colours we like.
Rich..
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Re: Merc Sprinter Seat Upgrade &Rear Suspension

Post by big'nuf on Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:37 am

Logburner...

Yes you are correct, Im confused too lol.
By wallowing, I mean rolling side to side as if it was top heavy. (even on a motorway at 60 in a straight line...Im too scared to do 70!)

But what I didn't mention here is that oddly enough, as well as wallowing considerably, the rear suspension seems as solid as a rock - as if there were no suspension at all?.
You can feel every slightest bump as it shakes the van from back to front. We have everything wrapped in tea towels then wrapped again.
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Re: Merc Sprinter Seat Upgrade &Rear Suspension

Post by big'nuf on Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:48 am

RML...

Ha haaa, I expected that response...and too right too.
My wife an I have had so many arguments about this, and so many discussions on wether to change the van again....
Hind-sight is such a great thing.
Why the hell did I ever sell my lovely Rapido?....well, Ill tell you.
I have spent several years upgrading our vans as we could afford to, starting with a very old, cheap van and working our way up to our last van, the 2007 Rapido.
I recently retired from the Fire Service and decided to upgrade our van for a last time as I knew I would never be able to afford to do it again...so sought to buy a newer but smaller model.
We found this used Stanton and kept it on back burner whilst I investigated buying a new one.
Everyone we spoke to told us that Mercedes was the ultimate base vehicle, and Autosleeper was the best quality van therefore as a combination would be the best you could get.
Two of the dealers talked me out of the new Tracker vans I was looking at, saying that the used Stanton would be a much better van....so we took their advice.
Hind sight?..well...

In all honesty, other than all the hassle of changing again, I feel that the van does have several positive attributes. The mechanics, the excellent gearbox, the Mercedes build quality (other than being a bit basic), the depreciation values, the Autosleeper furniture quality and the layout works well for us....Its just that I hate driving the damn thing !!!!
Once parked up, its a lovely van....
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Re: Merc Sprinter Seat Upgrade &Rear Suspension

Post by Peter Brown on Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:46 am

They do wallow up to about 5 mph but after that the standard suspension is super. We live on the edge of th Peak District and have travelled thousands of miles on motorways all over Europe, cornering is tight and rock steady up to max speed. Neither of us are slow drivers. Mercedes recommend max tyre pressures be used on a mhome conversion, I did try reducing but wasn't happy with stability at speed.

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Re: Merc Sprinter Seat Upgrade &Rear Suspension

Post by AndyLouch on Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:23 pm

Hi big'nuf, the 'wallowing' problem certainly;y doesn't ring true with our MB chassis Winchcombe (2013 model)! Whilst it doesn't corner like the 3 Series Beamer I once owned, it is always stable at any speed in a straight line and corners reasonably well for a 3500Kg, 7.5m long 'brick'!
I'm no technical expert by any means, however what you describe does indicate to me something not correct somewhere,
Re. the seat arm issue; it does seem off that there is a lack of symmetry in terms of armrests on both sides of both seats. However, not sure I'd use the outboard one if fitted since, when driving I don't use the inboard one in any case! I prefer to keep both arms straight when driving and we don't tend to swivel the seats when parked up. However, if a kit was available and was easy to fit without stripping down the seats we might be interested. Andy
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Re: Merc Sprinter Seat Upgrade &Rear Suspension

Post by big'nuf on Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:40 pm

Thanks peter...The Mercedes technician drove it and agreed there is a lot of body roll and he could feel all the bumps...They weighed the axles, checked the springs and reported to me there was nothing obvious wrong with it....then confusingly told me I could change the springs to harder ones which would help the body roll but make the ride worse. He then suggested driving it with no air in the airbags....really? (Sounds like a fob off to me).
He did say that all the Autosleepers handle like this as they are all very tall and high off the chassis?...ok.

Andy...
Im glad your "brick" handles well...but unfortunately mine doesn't!
I have driven 5 other motorhomes from similar size up to 30ft twin wheelers - I have driven fire engines operationally for the past 25 years, lorries and vans of all sorts previous to this...I know how to drive sensiblyI know what to expect from a motorhome. im sad to say, but I do not feel mine delivers a safe nor comfortable ride that inspires confidence.

The seat arm issue was not mine...but I do agree, I am used to having two on my motorhomes, and I do swivel my seats when parked.

Peter...
If you can rest your arm on that arm rest then you must sit extremely low or be very small...That is about a foot lower than my arm would rest. The edge of the window would be the perfect height for me...but then Im 6 ft 4 tall and have to sit up higher to keep my knees at 45 degrees...
Im thinking of making a small padded rest to fix to the edge of my blind....
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Re: Merc Sprinter Seat Upgrade &Rear Suspension

Post by Peter Brown on Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:55 pm

big'nuf wrote:
Im thinking of making a small padded rest to fix to the edge of my blind....

Clip a section of pipe insulation over it, its easy to remove and put behind the blind when you close it.

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Re: Merc Sprinter Seat Upgrade &Rear Suspension

Post by big'nuf on Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:44 pm

Great idea...Thank you.
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Re: Merc Sprinter Seat Upgrade &Rear Suspension

Post by Liam on Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:57 pm

Hi big'nuf, sounds like your trip to MB was not very successful! But then unless the spring is broken they would say it is OK - but is it to the correct design as specified by AS design office?
I did not realise that you had air suspension already fitted!! - maybe I missed it in one of your earlier threads - was it factory fitted or is it after market?
That was going to be my next suggestion - i.e. consider fitting Air Suspension - but you have already got some version of it! 
As you may be aware there are a number types out there - a. the basic semi air - which is known as air assist - this consists of 2 or 4 air bags assisting the existing suspension (cost circa £1000) or b. full air - which involves the removal of the existing springs and dampers and replacing with a bespoke air suspension (cost circa £3k to £5k - ambulances tend to have this fitted. 
I had the air assist fitted to my van to overcome the "soggy bottom" effect of the longer Malvern chassis - it cured that issue and improved the overall ride including the drift effect when passing larger vehicles.
Air bags correctly inflated should stop the body from rolling because they are independently inflated and unlike a spring should only compress to a limited extent. From what you say it sounds like your suspension is hitting the bump stops - which should not happen. 
That is why I recommended you to find out which type of spring has been fitted to your van because MB have delivered vehicles to AS in the past with incorrect springs fitted!! 
The Vin. build details will tell you which spring has or should have been fitted - then compare that with the spring (they all have MB numbers) that has been fitted and speak to AS design department to confirm your findings.
As I understand it, Auto Sleepers do not check the delivered base chassis (they assume that what they ordered has been delivered) for that sort of detail and if yours is not to the design standard then that could explain some of the problems you are experiencing. So there may be a basic issue like the wrong type of spring has been fitted in the first palce.
Your shorter wheel based vehicle should ride a lot better than the longer and wider models - which as you see gets favorable ride comments from forum members above.
Hope you sort it out.
Cheers,
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Re: Merc Sprinter Seat Upgrade &Rear Suspension

Post by big'nuf on Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:12 pm

Thank you Liam, I will check all this out as you suggest.
Incidentally I have the air assist fitted....the Merc technician recommends driving with no air at all as he says the air bags would make it wallow more and harden the ride even more?.....didn't
 make sense to me?
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